Roosters captain Boyd Cordner has been cleared of concussion but might not play again before finals.
The ridiculous curse over Newcastle’s No.9 jumper continues, while Cameron Smith will face off against his long-term replacement, Harry Grant, when the Storm host the Wests Tigers.
Read of for all your Round 19 team tips!
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South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 7.50pm at ANZ Stadium
Last week’s Rabbitohs team: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Steven Marsters 5. Dane Gagai 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Liam Knight 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Patrick Mago 17. Keaon Koloamatangi
Team tips: Cody Walker limped off the field on Thursday night with an ankle issue and will be monitored during the week. It’s unlikely Wayne Bennett would risk his star playmaker in a game against the Bulldogs two weeks out from finals. Troy Dargan has played two games at five-eighth this season already and is capable of filling the role. Dane Gagai is also banned for one game for punching on with Luke Brooks.
Last week’s Bulldogs team: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 5. Jayden Okunbor 6. Jake Averillo 7. Lachlan Lewis 15. Renouf To’omaga 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Aiden Tolman 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 16. Matt Doorey 11. Josh Jackson 14. Brandon Wakeham 17. Sauaso Sue 19. Dean Britt 23. Chris Smith
Team Tips: Matt Doorey injured his knee in Round 18 but English lock Luke Thompson is expected to return from a calf injury to line up in the starting side. There may be some changes in the backline from the side which was torn to shreds by Manly with Tim Lafai a chance to return.
North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers, 6pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Last week’s Cowboys team: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 16. Tom Gilbert 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Josh McGuire 14. Daejarn Asi 15. John Asiata 17. Corey Jensen 11. Gavin Cooper
Team tips: Jason Taumalolo is tipped to return ahead of schedule. J osh McGuire is facing a ban for a spray at referee Grant Atkins. John Asista is also facing one or two week ban for a dangerous contact charge from the loss to Melbourne.
Last week’s Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano
Team Tips: Api Koroisau and Spencer Leniu both suffered concussions over the weekend but coach Ivan Cleary was adamant it wouldn’t rule either out of Round 19. Cleary is also unsure yet whether he will rest any players in the lead-up to finals, but if were to rest anyone this trip to Townsville would be the perfect opportunity.
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Parramatta Eels vs Brisbane Broncos, 7.55pm at Bankwest Stadium
Last week’s Eels team: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Jai Field 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 14. Ray Stone 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown 15. Andrew Davey 16. Kane Evans 20. Will Smith 17. Oregon Kaufusi
Team tips: Hooker Reed Mahoney failed to overcome a shoulder injury last week but the club is confident he will be fit to line up in Round 19.
Last week’s Broncos team: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Richard Kennar 6. Sean O’Sullivan 7. Tom Dearden 8. Rhys Kennedy 9. Issac Luke 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Alex Glenn 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Cory Paix 15. Ben Te’o 16. Xavier Coates 17. Joe Ofahengaue
Team Tips: Broncos prop Rhys Kennedy will miss the Eels clash due to a crusher tackle ban. His omission will likely see Joe Ofahengaue go back to the front row.
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Manly Sea Eagles vs Gold Coast Titans, 3pm at Lottoland
Last week’s Sea Eagles team: 1. Tevita Funa 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Abbas Miski 6. Cade Cust 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka
Team tips: There seems to be a curse on Manly’s No. 6 jumper this year. Cade Cust has been ruled out for the season after injuring his ankle in Round 18, a week after young gun Josh Schuster did the same while playing in his NRL debut. It’s left the northern beaches club desperate to get Dylan Walker back from a foot injury. Walker is a chance of returning this week but the Sea Eagles would rather be cautious with the five-eighth, given there’s only two games to go and they can’t play finals. Lachlan Croker looms as the fill-in if Walker can’t get up. Reuben Garrick (shoulder) and Tom Trbojevic (hamstring) are due back, though, in some welcome relief for coach Des Hasler. Addin Fonua-Blake injured his knee but will race the clock to line up this week, but may have to sit out as well.
Last week’s Titans team: 1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 19. Treymain Spry 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Corey Thompson 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 3. Beau Fermor 11. Sam Stone 13. Tyrone Peachey 14. Erin Clark 15. Jai Whitbread 16. Jai Arrow 17. Sam Lisone
Team Tips: Kevin Proctor returns from suspension and will take his place in the backrow. Brian Kelly will be a chance of returning from a syndesmosis injury, but coach Justin Holbrook may be reluctant to change the side that’s in winning form.
Melbourne Storm vs Wests Tigers, 5.30pm at Sunshine Coast Stadium
Last week’s Storm team: 1. Nicholas Hynes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Ryley Jacks 15. Darryn Schonig 18. Tom Eisenhuth 20. Tui Kamikamica
Team tips: Ryan Papenhuyzen will want to play against his old club according to Craig Bellamy. The fullback was rested due to an Achilles issue and “could have played this week at a pinch” according to his coach. Christian Welch is nearing a return, while Bellamy hinted that Tino Fa’asuamaleaui could get a rest. Brandon Smith and Dale Finucane are “getting closer”. Brenko Lee was taken off when playing in the centres against the Cowboys with Nicho Hynes going to centre, after some ordinary defence on that side against the Cowboys. The Storm have Ricky Leutele available and Paul Momirovski is due back before finals.
Last week’s Tigers team: 4. Adam Doueihi 2. David Nofoaluma 19. Tommy Talau 18. Chris Lawrence 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal 14. Matt Eisenhuth 15. Elijah Taylor 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Sam McIntyre
Team Tips: The Tigers were hit with a double injury blow to Joey Leilua (ankle) and Moses Mbye (knee) pre-game last week and coach Michael Maguire said he’s unsure whether they will be fit for Round 19. Benji Marshall (ankle) and Elijah Taylor (concussion) were also injured during the game and will be monitored. Luke Brooks was suspended for his head to head with Dane Gagai which leaves Josh Reynolds set for a reprieve in the halves.
Sydney Roosters vs Cronulla Sharks, 7.35pm at Sydney Cricket Ground
Last week’s Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 13. Isaac Liu 9. Jake Friend 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Sitili Tupouniua 16. Angus Crichton 14. Nat Butcher 15. Lindsay Collins 17. Sonny Bill Williams 19. Mitchell Aubusson
Team tips: Mitchell Aubusson will overtake Anthony Minichiello as the Roosters’ most-capped player. Trent Robinson, meanwhile, has said he is not concerned about Boyd Cordner. The skipper passed his HIA but did not return during the demolition of the Knights. He is likely to be one of those to sit out with Robinson saying he might rest players during these last two rounds. Fox League’s James Hooper said Cordner “will not play”. Winger Matt Ikuvalu is scheduled to be back from an ankle injury this week but would be doing well to crack this team.
Last week’s Sharks team: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Connor Tracey 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Siosifa Talakai 13. Toby Rudolf 14. Teig Wilton 15. Jack Williams 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Royce Hunt
Team Tips: Aaron Woods dislocated his finger in the win over the Warriors but continued to play. If he is unable to play, the Sharks could bring Andrew Fifita into the starting side.
Canberra Raiders vs New Zealand Warriors, 2pm at GIO Stadium
Last week’s Raiders team:
Team tips: Veteran forward Sia Soliola is ready to return from his gruesome fractured face but the problem for coach Ricky Stuart now is where to squeeze him into the side. The Raiders are firing on all cylinders heading into finals but Soliola would be stiff to miss out on being a part of that action. Stuart has conceded two other forwards, Corey Horsburgh (foot) and Emre Guler (ankle), are unlikely to return this year. Curtis Scott will return from a leg injury and his arrival will see Jordan Rapana shift to the wing and Semi Valemi drop out.
Last week’s Warriors team: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Adam Pompey 3. Hayze Perham 4. Peta Hiku 5. George Jennings 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Karl Lawton 12. Tohu Harris 10. Isaiah Papali’i 11. Jack Murchie 13. Jazz Tevaga 14. Wayde Egan 15. Adam Blair 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Lachlan Burr
Team Tips: Kodi Nikorima picked up a cork to his bicep late in the game with Paul Turner or Adam Keighran options to replace him in the halves. Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also suffered some pain in his leg late in the second half. Peta Hiku sustained a concussion against the Sharks following a bone-rattling hit with Siosifa Talakai. If Hiku fails to pass the protocol, Patrick Herbert is due back for the Warriors from a hamstring problem. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is facing a one-game suspension for a dangerous contract in the loss to the Sharks.
THE MATTY JOHNS PODCAST
Title: Rugby League’s Great Combinations – Part 1
Full Synopsis: From the Fox Sports panel…..Matty Johns, Paul Kent and Steve Roach talk about some of the game’s greatest combinations, focusing mainly on the 80’s and 90s.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons, 4.05pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Last week’s Knights team: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Starford To’a 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Kurt Mann 15. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 10. Jacob Saifiti 13. Herman Ese’ese 16. Josh King 18. Sione Mata’utia 21. Chris Randall
Team tips: Hymel Hunt and Kalyn Ponga will be back to face the Dragons after being rested against the Roosters. Mitch Barnett is struggling with soreness but expects return. The curse of the No.9 jumper has struck again with Kurt Mann to miss one game for a crusher tackle. It continues a curse that has claimed Jayden Brailey, Andrew McCullough, and Connor Watson to serious injuries. Chris Randall is on standby to play hooker.
Last week’s Dragons team: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Cody Ramsey 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Kaide Ellis 9. Ben Hunt 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Billy Brittain 15. Josh Kerr 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Jackson Ford
Team Tips: Billy Brittain will likely be forced to sit out after suffering a second concussion in three weeks. The teammate he clashed heads with, Josh Kerr, also failed his HIA and will need to pass the concussion protocols to line up this week. Tariq Sims is due to return from a shoulder injury while Jacob Host is in doubt after picking up a calf problem. Their loss to the Raiders was slammed and graded an ‘F’ by Fox League’s Mal Meninga, pointing out some soft defence in the middle of the park. Dragons’ interim coach Dean Young floated the notion of blooding more young players in the side in the next two weeks given some of his senior players aren’t aiming up. The Red V have a host of rising young talent including playmaker Jayden Sullivan and the brothers Max and Mathew Feagai who could all follow Cody Ramsey in making their debuts.